The year was 1999, and it felt like anything could happen: Following a string of successful teen films in 1998, the teen era was officially back. To help kick things off in the final year before the Millennium was She’s All That, a sleeper hit that featured an ensemble cast, including Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. The film told the story of a girl with a ponytail, Laney (Cook), who became the subject of a bet that Zack’s (Prinze Jr.) scheme to turn any girl into prom queen. The success of She’s All That introduced fans to a pre-Fast & The Furious Paul Walker, made Prinze the most desirable young man in Hollywood, and thanks to the iconic scene of Cook walking down the stairs in a little red dress, everyone was singing Sixpence None The Richer‘s “Kiss Me.”
On the 15th anniversary of the film’s release, Dulé Hill, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe and Clea DuVall share memories from the set, dancing at prom and working with Walker.
Dancing At Prom
The film’s most iconic scene is undoubtedly the prom sequence, during which everyone performs that same choreographed number led by Usher. The cast reveals that the scene required weeks of prep and was choreographed by Adam Shankman, the now-famous movie director and reality competition judge.
Jodi Lyn O’Keefe (Taylor Vaughan): “We all just know this routine?!”
Dulé Hill (Preston): “The choreographer was Adam Shankman [Rock of Ages, So You Think You Can Dance].”
Clea DuVall (Misty): “I only worked with Rachel. I popped in, was an a–hole to her and just left. So I never got to be part of the fun high school stuff.”
O’Keefe: “It was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. Most of my laughing happened then. I did not do the greatest job the first couple of times through that routine. I was down on the ground more than I wanted to be.”
Hill: “I don’t know what conversations Freddie Prinze had [with producers to get out of it]. It’s funny because they had myself, Gabrielle Union and Lil’ Kim doing a lot of the dancing. We’re like, ‘Wait a second, are all the black people doing the dancing?'”
O’Keefe: “I just remember I had to do it. I was front and center. You know what’s funny though, I must not have been that great because you’ll notice I only landed in the dance scene for about two seconds. I had to learn all of that.”
Hill: “I remember when Usher came in, we had to shut down filming. We had to stop so he could do his DJ thing at the prom.”
O’Keefe: “When you think of a high school prom you don’t think of that. I thought it was one of the greatest parts of the movie. I had such a great laugh over it.”
Hill: “To me, that scene falls in line with that type of film. We’re not doing August: Osage County.”
Up Next: Being on set, working with Paul Walker and M. Night Shyamalan